Thursday, September 20, 2012

Republicans Refuse To Help Unemployed Veterans & Mitt Romney Horatio Alger Rags To Riches Myth

Romney and Obama puppets of corrupt ,self-serving  Wall Street  and greedy Big Business

The Horatio Alger American Myth

Meanwhile as the rich get richer and get more tax breaks from the US government the pro-rich pro-war pro-military GOP refused to pass a bill that would set up a jobs program for US veterans. To Mitt Romney and the Republican party which was also true under the Bush Regime they are against giving substantive financial support to American soldiers or veterans such as wage increases or increasing spending for medical and psychiatric care for veterans or helping out with educational expenses or giving veterans more opportunities for jobs.

So much for the Republicans supporting the troops or veterans . They seem to view soldiers and vets who want better salaries or better health care or better pensions or educational and vocational opportunities as part of the nasty demanding 47% of American citizens who just want more "Free Stuff". So Mitt Romney's slogan of we are all in this together is just more empty election campaign rhetoric to appeal to part of the GOP base like Bush's rallying cry of The Compassionate Conservative only to reveal he had no compassion for anyone beyond his close circle of Neocon friends .

The Republicans are supposedly the champions of American troops until it comes to spending government money on them to improve their financial and employment situation salaries and pensions . The GOP will tout some new weapons program and insist the US government and tax payers pay billions for the new system but 1 billion dollars to help vets they say "No Way".

During the Iraq war we saw the Bush administration all too eager to send troops into a new war with all new shiny equipment and yet were penny pinching about armored vest for soldiers or better troop carriers and the soldiers in Iraq in many cases had to put up with shoddy workmanship by private contractors such as Halliburton and Kellog, Brown and Root etc. on the soldiers living quarters, showers or water treatment systems and so forth.

The Neocons and the GOP then and now show very little respect for soldiers in areas that matter as opposed to just praising them and giving out medals.

 But during the Bush years and now bringing up such criticisms of the GOP/Republicans is seen as somehow unAmerican and as undermining the war effort. Patriotism really is " the Last Refuge of the scoundrel". It is all well and good to praise the troops and have parades for them and handing out medals but the troops are not an abstract construct but are flesh and blood human beings and so should be treated with respect and given all that they need and require while doing their tours of duty and when they are wounded and when they leave the army but GOP just sees the troops as more whinny civilians wanting more "Free Stuff" as Mitt Romney and the GOP would argue.

To the rich and powerful such as Mitt Romney and the GOP soldiers are just members of the lower classes who are to be used as cannon fodder in their Rich Man's war.

 GOP">">GOP"> Senators Defeat Jobs Bill for US Veterans - Common Dreams staff Sept. 20, 2012
The US Senate failed to pass a jobs bill aimed at putting US veterans to work through a federally funded public works program

 The Veterans Jobs Corps bill—modeled partly on Depression era programs like the Workers Progress Administration (WPA) and the Civilian Conservation Corp—would have concentrated $1 billion to help veterans find work building public infrastructure projects or as public safety workers like police officers or firefighters
On a procedural block put up by Republicans, the Democratic majority could not find the 60 votes need to overcome the impasse.

A large number of economists and independent analysts have confirmed that worker programs such as this would be a boon to the lagging economy — though most urge initiatives on a much larger scale that would focus on putting the entire idle workforce, not just struggling veterans, back to work.

However, the fact that the Senate was unable to bridge partisan differences in a bill specifically designed to help US war veterans—the routinely most venerated group by both major parties—shows just how politically unviable a larger federal works program would be to pass under the current political alignment.

Patty Murray, chairman of the Senate veterans affairs committee, accused Senate Republicans of "shocking and shameful" obstructive politics. And continued: "At a time when one in four young veterans are unemployed, Republicans should have been able, for just this once, to put aside the politics of obstruction and to help these men and women provide for their families.

"It's unbelievable that even after more than a decade of war many Republicans still will not acknowledge that the treatment of our veterans is a cost of war. Today they voted down a fully paid-for bill that included bipartisan ideas to put veterans in jobs that will allow them to serve their communities. Jobs that would have helped provide veterans with the self-esteem that is so critical to their successful transition home."

Romney and the Radical Rich by Richard Eskow at Common dreams Sept. 20, 2012

Two recent movements have transformed the political landscape. The Occupy movement literally operates in the light of day. The other movement operates in secrecy, with money as its "speech" rather than ... well, you know, speech.

 ...Sure, it was stupid for Mitt Romney to insult the non-Federal-tax paying "47 percent" on that video, especially since so many of them are Republican voters. But it was only "stupid" in traditional political terms. For a radical – and make no mistake, Romney is a radical – those rules don't apply.

The bile flows out of this unscripted Romney. He says of his father, the governor, presidential candidate and car company CEO: "Had he been born of Mexican parents, I'd have a better shot of winning this." This kind of resentment, as absurd as it is, is a very real emotion for the Radical Rich.

The words seem to sting his lips when he says "they believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, that they are entitled – to health care, to food, to housing, you name it. That's an entitlement."

Feast your eyes on the articulated rage of the Radical Rich. Romney and his audience are genuinely angry at people who "don't pay taxes" – although almost all of the "47 percent" do, counting payroll and sales taxes. That doesn't matter. The Radical Rich consider all of them – the disabled, the elderly, poor people, veterans – the Other.

...In his attempt to defend Romney, David Brooks suggested he was a "fundamentally decent" person who only expresses contempt for so many of this country's citizens because it appeals to his audience.

The only thing that may be less "decent" than hating entire groups of people is pretending to hate them for your own purposes. But this incident reveals something even more important than Romney's weakness of character, which is:

That's what appeals to Romney' audience.

The guests had gathered at the home of Mark Leder, a private equity manager whose business practices are as exploitative and job-killing as Bain Capital's. Leder's post-divorce antics earned him the nickname "private equity party boy" and headlines like "Nude frolic in tycoon's pool."

Romney and the others keep their clothes on, in case you were wondering, so the video's work-safe.

Mitt Romney is so out of touch with the average American that he sees himself as a victim of the jealousy and resentment of those in the lower classes who appear to hate the rich.

The issue in regards to those with wealth is that the average American is now aware that the average millionaire and even billionaire pays less taxes than do the Average working adult in America.

President Obama and the Democrats and their neoliberal supporters may make their own snide remarks about the arrogance of Mitt Romney and his own belief that he is a victim but when push comes to shove as Obama et al have shown in their ridiculous bail out of Wall Street that they too have a preference to help out the rich and powerful and do so using billions and even trillions of dollars stolen from the American people while at the same time doing little or nothing to help out those Americans who were victims of the Wall Street bankers and investors giant Ponce Scheme.

The real victims of this Ponce Scheme or Wall Street Casino affair were and are average Americans and did Obama step in immediately to stop the foreclosure of millions of homes not really - Obama was too interested in ensuring he would get the funding and support of the corrupt Robber-Barons and crooks and liars of Wall Street and the big corrupt Corporations he needed for this year's election campaign .

Obama is another one selling his nation and the world a rotten to the core ,corrupt self-serving political and economic system. Mitt Romney's problem is that he is more honest about what he believes the direction America should take that is in his view returning to the good old days of the 19th century gilded age when the rich could do as they please and the workers obeyed and did what they were told and if they complained they were fired or worse.

In the good old days as Newt Gingrich reminded us 9 year olds were given the opportunity to work 12 hours a day in a coal mine or factory and being part of the working class they were not forced to waste their time in public schools learning more than what they really needed to know. Education then was for the elite and most of those who like Mitt Romney are at the top of the heap but it is they claim wasted on the lower classes.

Mitt Romney's Resentment by Amy Davidson Common Dreams Sept. 20, 2012

“My question is, why don’t you stick up for yourself?” a man who had paid fifty thousand dollars to attend a dinner with Mitt Romney asked. “To me, you should be so proud that you’re wealthy.” That remark was recorded in a video of the dinner, at a hedge-fund manager’s home in Boca Raton, which was released by Mother Jones. In it, Romney complains that just under half of all Americans had come to see themselves as “victims,” when they were actually, as he sees it, entitled and demanding dependents. But there is a character who he and everyone else in the room seem to agree most certainly is a true victim: Mitt Romney himself, martyr to the envy of the masses.

...Romney has been running a campaign centered on resentment, in many forms: the resentment directed at the “successful” that he imagines is driving his critics; the resentment he is trying to fan in his base voters; and, increasingly and most strangely, his own. Romney’s resentment has become a matter of temperament, of policy, and of politics. He and his wife, Ann, have made it clear that they take offense when his good will is questioned. Fixated on what he sees as the jealous motives of his critics, he misses the important truths about our economy and the reality of people’s lives that might have informed his agenda. He also reveals a great deal about himself.

This is not a new theme for Romney. In January, after winning the New Hampshire primary, he spoke in his victory speech about “the bitter politics of envy…. I stand ready to lead us down a different path, where we are lifted up by our desire to succeed, not dragged down by a resentment of success.” The next morning, he spoke to Matt Lauer:

 "Lauer: I’m curious about the word ‘envy.’ Did you suggest that anyone who questions the policies and practices of Wall Street and financial institutions, anyone who has questions about the distribution of wealth and power in this country, is envious? Is it about jealousy, or fairness?
 Romney: You know, I think it’s about envy. I think it’s about class warfare."

Somehow, asking whether our economy might ever have victims is itself an act of victimizing Mitt. Resentment based in a sense of under-appreciation can be unattractive. (That is why the “we built it” theme at the Republican convention felt more sour than rightfully prideful.) At the fundraiser, after one woman said that she was concerned Americans didn’t know Romney, another called out, “You’re known as a rich boy! They say he’s a rich boy.” (In fairness, they do.) When Romney told the donors, absurdly, “I have inherited nothing,” they applauded, rather than laughed. Speaking of Obama, he said, “What he’s going to do by the way is try to vilify me as someone who’s been successful. Or who’s, you know, closed businesses or laid people off and isn’t he an evil bad guy.” And: “the thing which I find most disappointing about this President: his attack on one American against another American—his division of America based on going after those who have been successful.”

The majority of rich people in America do not accumulate wealth due to their own hard work and perseverance and ingenuity much of it comes from an inheritance from family members or deceased spouse. Upward mobility from one class or economic class into a higher economic class is less a possibility today than it was 30 years ago. The gap between the rich and the Middle Class has only increased over the past couple of decades in the USA.

But for the most part this notion of upward mobility has to a greater or lesser extent been part of America's Horatio Alger myth of going from rags and riches. Most Americans refuse to believe that this is for the most part a myth because it undermines their perception of America and of themselves as being part of this exceptional nation in which hard work and perserverance always pays off. But this is just not the case the game is rigged in favor of the rich and according to Mitt Romney and the Neocons and even the neoliberals that in fact is the way it ought to be based upon nature or natural forces or part of social Darwinism survival of the fittest or by the grace of God. In God's view some people are more deserving than others and so they should reap the rewards or spoils of life's battles.

As far as Mitt Romney is concerned the average working person in the USA who is not materially successful it is their own fault and not the fault of an unjust economic and social and political system. The claim of the rich and powerful and their quisling politicians and media echo chamber is that just being born in America is a bonus in itself and if someone has less then they need to live a comfortable life it is their own damn fault for instance because they managed to be born into the wrong family, the wrong class, the wrong race or ethnic group or the wrong gender or the wrong country.

'Born on Third Base': How the Wealthy Inherit the Earth The real story told by the Forbes 400 is about privilege and the growing inequality in both wealth and opportunity - Common Dreams staff ,Sept. 19,2012

 Gushing over the wild financial wealth of individuals, The Forbes 400: The Richest People In America In 2012 — released today online and heading to newstands nationwide—pays homage to the clichéd platitude that America is the land of opportunity for hard-working, gutsy entrepreneurs and great wealth is merely evidence of great accomplishment.
Unfortunately, according to a new report by Massachusetts-based United for a Fair Economy, the Forbes 400 does not tell the whole story of wealth in America. In fact, the authors of the report argue, the list of the country's richest people tells the story of a nation where being born into wealth or inheriting great sums from a departed spouse are by far the most common paths to financial fortune.

Taking a close look at last year's list of wealthiest people, the UFE discovered that roughly 40% of the individuals who appeared on the 2011 Forbes list received a "significant economic advantage in their lives by inheriting a sizeable asset from a spouse or family member." Strikingly, more than 20% received sufficient wealth to make the list from this inheritance alone.

Timed to coincide with this year's list from Forbes, the UFE report, Born on Third Base: What the Forbes 400 Really Says About Economic Equality and Opportunity in America (pdf), seeks to show that the highly-touted list actually misleads about the sources of wealth and opportunity for many of those who appear on it.
"Each story calculatedly glamorizes the myth of the 'self-made man' while minimizing the many other factors that enable wealth, such as tax policies, other government policies that favor the wealthy, and the importance of being born to the right family, gender and race."

Forbes claims that their list of the 400 richest people is 'the definitive scorecard of wealth' in the United States, but UFE rebuffs that assertion, saying that the narrative of wealth and achievement pushed by Forbes ignores the other side of the coin— namely, that the opportunity to build wealth is not equally or broadly shared in contempory society.

According to the report:
 •The net worth of the Forbes 400 grew fifteen-fold between the launch of the list in 1982 and 2011, while wealth stagnated for the average U.S. household.
 •The racial wealth divide is starkly apparent from the overwhelming whiteness of the list. The 2011 Forbes 400 had only one African American member.
 •Women accounted for just 10% of the 2011 list, and of the women on the list nearly 90% inherited their fortunes.

In addition, the report points out that (and the new 2012 list from Forbes shows continuation of this trend) the rich in 2011 got richer as the poor got poorer. The growing wealth inequality, the report says, is not due to any inherent brilliance or dynamism of the wealthy, but because of carefully crafted policy and legislative reforms enacted by government at the behest of the these same individuals.
Two examples cited by the report which directly impact the ability of the rich to retain and pass along their enormous assets:
 •Tax rates on capital gains have been slashed, which especially benefits members of the Forbes list. The richest 0.1% receive half of all net increases in capital gains.
 •Drastic cuts to the federal estate tax passed in the Bush tax cuts and the 2010 Obama tax deal allow the Forbes 400 to pass on more of their massive fortunes to their heirs, contributing to the growth of inequality and entrenching a class of super-wealthy heirs.

For its part, and despite the critical tone of the report, United for a Fair Economy says its efforts are not an attempt to "shame or belittle wealth or success."

"Instead," the authors maintain, "we aim to ask why certain representative individuals are on the list in order to reach a better understanding of wealth in the US. Such questions should lead to an important conversation about economic mobility, as well as the rules and loopholes that allow people to create wealth in the first place."

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